Big day for Fansler, Tech sweeps play-in series

Apr. 27—Hunter Fansler homered in his first at-bat as part of a four-hit day and WVU Tech routed IUP-Columbus 14-4 in eight innings Saturday to sweep their best-of-3 River States Conference Tournament play-in series at Linda K. Epling Stadium.

The Golden Bears (27-20) advanced to the eight-team conference tournament that starts Thursday in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Fansler finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle. His home run was a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the first inning. In the fourth, he tripled to drive home two runs and came home after an error. He added an RBI single in the fifth to put Tech ahead 9-4.

Tech starter Robert Kelley, the NAIA leader in strikeouts going in, overcame a rocky first inning. The Crimson Pride (10-42) had three of their five hits in the inning, capped by Jared Ross' three-run homer to give his team a 3-0 lead.

The Tech offense came to Kelley's aid, Fansler's homer the first of three runs to tie it. The Golden Bears then scored three runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and led 12-4.

In the eighth inning, Logan Spurlock doubled and scored on an RBI double by Francesco Calderon to end the game early via the mercy rule.

Kelley cruised after the first inning. He worked six innings overall and struck out seven and walked three. The Pride's fourth run was unearned.

Braedan Pakkala threw two scoreless innings in relief.

Next week's pairings will be released soon.

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